Optimism returns to UAE jobs as sentiment rises

Hiring sentiment seems positive in the second half of this year but UAE employers are expected to remain cautious with a calculative approach when it comes to increasing their headcount.

Confidence is returning to the market but external events such as the happenings in the Eurozone may have a dampening effect on hiring levels in the country, say experts.

“[We] believe that there should be some measured confidence in the recruitment market. Industry in general now has a period of relative certainty ahead of it and companies have plans beyond just keeping costs at a minimal level,” Toby Simpson, Managing Director at The Gulf Recruitment Group told Emirates 24|7.

“The job market is not immune to global shocks, such as possible contagion from the Eurozone, China or even India. However, GCC governments should now be able to respond quickly to limit any damage to local economies by speeding up the funding and implementation of capital projects, more inward equity investment and limited support of regional debt markets,” added Simpson.

Moreover, the period after Ramadan is generally stronger and there are more available jobs in the country.

“Sentiment is more positive given that there is generally a pick up in activity post Ramadan and Eid. However, macroeconomic factors stemming from Europe and the US are keeping people on their toes. Independent of this, Gulf sentiment is definitely improved from this time last year,” said Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates.

“The summer period has obviously had an impact on the early part of H2; however, we expect to see an increase in activity from September onwards,” added Cliff Single, Commercial Manager at BAC Middle East.

Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase agrees on optimism returning to the market but underlines the fact that companies are still cautious and will remain so in the months to come.

“The overall sentiment is rather positive, although cautious. With western economies still being in recession, companies are careful about their moves.  However, the Middle East and especially the GCC, is an area of interest that attracted several new businesses moving eastwards, so we still see development in the region (and, respectively, hiring activity from the companies),” she explained to this website.

As far as job openings are concerned, they will primarily be seen in the junior and mid-level positions. “People will be required across sectors and I would expect good job growth in junior to mid level professional positions with slower growth in the senior executive space,” said the Gulf Recruitment expert.

Despite the increased level of optimism, employees in the country and the region at large believe there are not very many jobs in the market to choose from. “[Our] latest consumer confidence index (dated August 20120 reveals that 49 per cent of ME professionals believe there are currently very few jobs available and 60 per cent say the number of employees in their organisation has either remained the same or declined. However, prospects are optimistic for the future as 35 per cent believe there will be more jobs available in a year’s time,” said SuhailMasri, VP of Sales at Bayt.com.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)


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